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Politicians joke at Alfalfa Club dinner: Oldies, some goodies

Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan (with Donna Shalala and "the Rock" close behind) arriving at Saturday's Alfalfa Club dinner. (Evy Mages for the Washington Post)

All those conspiracy theorists who believe Washington is still run by powerful white males point to Saturday's Alfalfa Club dinner as proof.

True, the average member is old, white and (with the exception of a few high-profile women) overwhelmingly male. But the annual gathering at the Capital Hilton has limited opportunities for abusing power -- guests are too busy drinking and cracking jokes.

George H. W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Sandra Day O'Connor, Condi Rice, John McCain and Alan Greenspan were spotted arriving at the off-the-record dinner, but President Obama skipped the festivities this year, leaving Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to explain his absence: As part of the health care deal, the president was babysitting Sen. Ben Nelson's grandkids. Bada-boom.

The club's other speakers: Sens. Joe Lieberman, Kit Bond and Mark Warner -- threw their best zingers:

  • Bond: "We did save seats for President Obama's two closest friends and traveling companions -- tele and prompter."

  • Warner: "I come from humble beginnings. I know it's hard for most Alfalfans to believe, but I was the first kid in my family to ever make a hundred million dollars."

  • Lieberman: "Alfalfans, our campaign has many advantages. As Harry Reid has pointed out, I am light-skinned and don't have a Yiddish dialect."

    But it wasn't all insider back-slapping: Proving that even fusty old crowds like a little Hollywood glamour: Donna Shalala brought Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as her guest. Huge hit. "It was cool," she said.

  • By The Reliable Source  |  February 1, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
    Categories:  44: Obama's Washington , Politics  
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    What is that mess that Andrea Mitchell is wearing? Are those gold bugle beads smeared down the front of that thing? And what's with the cheesy fake fur wrap?
    Andrea, can you get behind the idea of "age appropriate"? And the hair? That style draws attention to the sag of your face and makes you look like a Llasa Apso and not in a cute puppy dog kinda of way.

    It is possible to skew one's look a little younger but Andrea you might want to move the dateline up a smidge. I mean what do you ask for when you go to the salon next, don't say the Taylor Swift look?

    Look at how other woman your age are doing it. Sophia Loren, maybe or Vanessa Redgrave, or Betty White not Kate Hudson.

    Posted by: SoCali | February 1, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

    Those teleprompter jokes never get old do they?

    Posted by: dadada | February 1, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

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